Just like the rest of the Wasatch Front, home prices in Weber County have been skyrocketing.
Since 2017, the median home value in Weber County has more than doubled, according to figures from the Utah Association of Realtors. Though home values here are lower, generally speaking, than Utah’s three other more-populated counties, Weber County’s growth rate in the period, 101%, outpaces the comparable figures for Davis, Utah and Salt Lake counties and the state as a whole.
As along the rest of the Wasatch Front, don’t expect it to stop anytime soon, though the increases may not be so pronounced in 2022.
“We still have a housing shortage,” said Christy Vail, a South Ogden-based Realtor. “I don’t see things changing in the next few years.”
Likewise, those searching for detached single-family homes in Weber County can expect prices, by and large, to start around $ 400,000, at least for now. “It’s very difficult to find anything less than that,” she said.
Here’s a look at some of the figures that attest to the hot market here (and the rest of the Wasatch Front):
- In 2017, the median home sales price in Weber County – half the sales prices were more, half were less – was $ 207,500. For the first three months of 2022, the median home sales price reached $ 417,000, 101% up from 2017, more than double. The intermediate values along the way were $ 231,925 in 2018, $ 257,750 in 2019, $ 290,000 in 2020 and $ 366,000 for 2021.
- In Davis County, by comparison, the median home sales price was $ 272,500 in 2017, rising to $ 508,000 for the first three months of 2022, up 86.4%.
- In Utah County, the median home sales price went from $ 273,250 in 2017 to $ 519,678 for the first quarter of the year, up 90.2%.
- In Salt Lake County, the median home sales price in the period went from $ 292,000 to $ 525,000, up 79.8%.
- Statewide, the figure went from $ 267,575 to $ 505,000, up 88.7%.
Vail likens the increases here to that of another hot market, California. “We’re catching up with them. I don’t like saying that, ”she said.
Look to Economics 101 for the spur behind the price increases. “We have a really small supply compared to the number of people who are looking for housing in our county,” said Stephanie Taylor, a Realtor and president of the Northern Wasatch Association of Realtors.
Digging deeper, the limited housing supply, Taylor said, has its roots in the Great Recession that started in late 2007. Because of the uncertain economy, many builders slowed home construction, stopped building speculatively, worried the homes they made wouldn’t get sold .
“We spent 10 years basically not building for the growth that was coming,” Taylor said.
Fast forward and now demand is hopping, particularly among millennials, but the supply has not kept pace, an issue here and across the country. “There are a lot of millennials that are getting to that homebuying stage,” she said.
Vail echoed that, noting that many millennials are reaching their peak earning years. Moreover, she said, they want nice things.
Many townhomes and apartments are taking shape around Weber County. That, though, doesn’t necessarily counter the strong demand for stand-alone homes and home ownership, not in the near term, anyway.
“I haven’t seen a change,” Vail said, alluding to the impact of the townhome and apartment construction. Over time, though, “it will have a slight effect.”
Taylor sees a tapering of growth in home sales prices this year, though the figures should continue their upward trend. She estimates 8% growth, a marked decrease from the 26.2% median home sales price growth in Weber County between 2020 and 2021, from $ 290,000 to $ 366,000.
That said, prices through the first quarter have already shot up by more than that, though it remains to be seen what happens in the rest of the year. The median home sales price in the first three months of the year in Weber County went from $ 366,000, the figure for 2021, to $ 417,000, up 13.9%.
Though home prices and home values are higher, generally speaking, in Davis, Salt Lake and Utah counties, neither Vail nor Taylor think that will necessarily hold as time passes. With more and more people working remotely, proximity to the jobs clustered around Salt Lake County – key in the higher home values there and in adjacent Utah and Davis counties – won’t be so necessary.
“I think we’ll catch up,” Vail said.